Pathum Nissanka, Sri Lanka’s first double centurion in white ball cricket, will have Afghanistan to thank after the touring team turned their backs on a what the experts said was a perfect pitch to bat first in the first ODI at the Pallekele cricket stadium in Kandy on Friday.
Nissanka made the highest score by a Sri Lanka in ODI cricket with a rousing unbeaten 210 that he spiced up with eight sixes to add to 20 fours as Sri Lanka made 381for 3 and restricted Afghanistan whose own two batters Azmatullah Omarzai and Mohammad Nabi also made centuries in a 338 for 6 losing total.
Nissanka was playing in his 50th ODI match and in the process made the 12th double hundred in men’s ODI cricket after India’s Sachin Tendulkar set the course to score the first 200 in 2010 against South Africa.
Subsequently India’s Rohit Sharma has three double hundreds after making scores of 208 against Sri Lanka, 209 against Australia and 264 versus Sri Lanka in 2014 which stands as the highest individual score in ODI cricket to date.
India has five 200 makers in ODI cricket with Virender Shewag, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan joining Tendulkar and Sharma.
Martin Guptill from New Zealand, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell and Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman have also made ODI double hundreds.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will meet at the same venue today in the second ODI of a three-match series.